08/11/17 — Jazz Showcase returns Saturday

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Jazz Showcase returns Saturday

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on August 11, 2017 5:50 AM

The Wayne County Jazz Showcase is back with its first event since May planned on the patio at Brewmasters Saturday night.

The Eric Xavier Band will perform from 7 to 10 p.m., and there is no cover charge to attend. Brewmasters, a craft beer restaurant and bottle shop, is located at 2402 E. Ash St.

"I'm really excited," said Eric Dawson, one of the originators of the Jazz Showcase when it was held at the Arts Council of Wayne County.

"I've been getting a lot of good feedback from the followers that used to be at the Arts Council. I feel good about it because one of the things I had planned to do years ago is branch out into the community."

The Jazz Showcase is not planned to be a series, as it was during its three-year run at the Arts Council. The success of the Brewmasters event Saturday will determine whether additional events are booked, Dawson said.

"I don't know," he said. "It might be a new home. I expect it will be standing room out there."

The performance of the Eric Xavier band will take Dawson and his band back to a time when the group performed regularly at the Arts Council.

The Wayne County Jazz Showcase originally started at the Arts Council, in 2014, and grew to become a popular monthly event that included performances from bands across the state and other locations. The series also gained financial support from PNC Bank, which removed the need to charge admission and boosted local attendance.

In May, the Arts Council and Dawson parted ways, with the Arts Council shifting its focus and recently announcing its new Jazz on John Street event.

The Saturday Jazz Showcase will include an evening of jazz music, during the first half, and other music genres during the second half, including rhythm and blues, soul and funk, Dawson said. Invited guests may also perform with the band.

"I've invited guys from Wilmington and the Triangle," Dawson said.

The night is promised to mirror the overall experience of the Jazz Showcase when it was held in downtown Goldsboro.

"I plan to actually have that same vibe going on there, but not as a series," Dawson said. "This weekend is kind of a trial to see how everything goes, and then we'll go from there.

The Eric Xavier Band includes Dawson on the saxophone, Christian Dashell on the bass guitar, Aaron Jarman Jr. on the drums and Quincy Jones on the keyboard.

Future Wayne County Jazz Showcase events will be announced on Facebook, Dawson said.